Protests are said to be gaining steam and will culminate in a massive demonstration in Tehran in front of the country's parliament building.
Fears about the impact of the USA sanctions that will start to be reinstated in August and possibly trigger the collapse of the nuclear deal has led to the rial falling to a record low against the dollar on the unofficial foreign exchange market.
The unplanned demonstrations come a day after Tehran's two major shopping malls dedicated to mobiles and electronics shut down in protest over alleged rent-seeking by official importers, and refused to sell their products using the government's reduced rial rate of IRR42,000 to the dollar.
A larger, sustained series of protests could put pressure on President Hassan Rouhani, who has already been harshly criticized by hardliners for his economic record. Iran's government set an official, fixed exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar earlier this year and banned trading at other rates to try to stop the rial's decline, but black market activity has continued. Video posted on social media of the event show people coughing and running away from the northern entrance to the complex.
The economic sanctions were lifted after the deal was implemented in 2016, but President Donald Trump announced in May that the USA was abandoning it.
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Apart from the rial's collapse, the Iranian private sector has always been starved of investment, its banking system is crippled by bad loans and record levels of unemployment mean a third of under-30-year-olds are out of work.
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), which is close to Rohani's administration, reported on June 25 that a third exchange rate between 60,000 and 65,000 rials per dollar will be announced soon.
Iran's economic woes were compounded by the United States's decision in May to pull out of the JCPOA nuclear deal, which had promised to bring in billions of dollars of investment.
"Their demands are delivered through the chamber to the government, and these are being pursued by us", he said.
The government is justifying its latest clampdown on imports by citing economic security. Indian government sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi was looking to revive a rupee trade mechanism to settle part of its oil payments to Iran, fearing foreign channels to pay Tehran might close.
The market for gold coins also came to a standstill as the price of standard coin reached 32 million rials, nearly three times its price in March.